The Apple iPhone is ten years old in 2017 and has revolutionised the smartphone in many ways over the last decade. One of these was with the emergence of apps and the continuing growth of the App Store, which is now home to more than two million apps. That’s just for Apple products alone, with Android and apps for many other smartphones and tablets available. Of these there are thousands of useful (and some not so useful) car apps. Here are some of our favourites for car lovers.
Taking your hands off the wheel when driving is clearly dangerous and inadvisable. Yet sometimes it can be unavoidable if you need to change your Sat Nav’s route or turn the radio down, for example. Drivemode is an app which works with mapping, radio and more and allows the driver to use its features mainly through voice command. Music, navigation, speaking out text messages and putting your phone in ‘do not disturb’ mode can all be done while maintaining focus on the road.
iOS 10 Maps
For all iPhone 6 or later users, the Maps app includes a handy feature which helps you find your parked car, thanks to the iOS 10 update. Your iPhone must be paired to CarPlay or Bluetooth in your car, then when you leave it your iPhone disconnects from Bluetooth so Maps marks its location. It can be edited if incorrect, then to find it you simply choose ‘Parked Car’ from the search suggestions list and tap the directions.
With Carcorder and a dashboard mount as well, you can easily create your own dashcam. For just £1.49 this is far cheaper than buying one outright. It can be used to record journeys, including important evidence should an accident occur. Different recording resolutions are available to save on battery life, along with camera and map views and easy to export footage to save on phone storage space.
Available on both iOS and Android, AppyParking is one of the easiest to use car parking apps for finding a nearby space. Not only can you search for on and off-street car parking, those with an electric charger and more, but each space is colour coded and will tell you about any restrictions. When you’ve found a space, you can pay for it by card or phone through the app too.
PetrolPrices.com is a free app that lets you find cheap fuel wherever in the UK you may be driving. Petrol and diesel prices in around 8,500 stations are compared, with prices updated daily. Options can be filtered by distance, fuel type and station brand, with a fuel route option that displays the five cheapest or nearest stations along a set route so you can discover cheap fuel wherever you are driving.
Forgetting when your MOT is due and driving with an expired one can lead to all sorts of trouble. It can be difficult to remember exactly when it needs renewing, especially if you lose the document stating the date. With the MOT Due app this shouldn’t be a problem. All you do is enter vehicle details including expiry dates of the MOT, tax and insurance. Then it reminds you 28 days before expiry and then every 5 days before each until it is renewed. MOT history can be viewed with the registration and V5C reference number too.
Only on Android at the time of writing, but with an iOS version in development, grdian is marketed as a lifesaving app. Sensors in your smartphone can detect a sudden stop or crash, then it automatically rings its first-line call centre who organise an emergency response. This is also useful for passengers and pedestrians, as shaking and pressing a button rings the call centre too.
Waze is a navigation app that can inform you of cheap fuel stations and directions, but its main advantage is the traffic updates it provides. Information about traffic jams, accidents and more can be sent in by users, quickly updating your route to find the fastest possible one. Reacting to real-time events means you shouldn’t be held up too much with Waze.
These are some of our favourite car apps to use. Have you got any more to add?
Images courtesy of iStock.